PIB: Lawyers pick holes in new Bill, want unbundling of Petroleum ministry

By Princewill Ekwujuru

ECONOMY

Chairman of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Prof Wunmi Ilebare, has said that Nigeria still has the chance to stir economic growth ahead of the use of fossil fuel as main source of global energy with the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

Ilebare, who spoke at stakeholders’ engagement in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, observed that although efforts at replacing oil with alternative energy sources have been growing, Nigeria still has the chance to stir economic growth in the few decades remaining before the adoption of fossil fuel as main source of global energy.

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He stated: “Nigeria must move away from the thinking that emphasizes energy production and move towards the economically impactful paradigm of energy consumption. It is energy consumption that will ensure the country grows its economy through value chain maximization.”

Citing the example of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which he said was a mere desert in the early 1980s, he said the country has wasted years through emphasis on oil rent and revenue sharing, stressing that the PIB must be deliberate in its national development purpose.

He called on all the labour unions in the oil and gas industry to begin to think beyond their immediate personal gains and work towards the maximization of the opportunities that are possible for the collective prosperity of the nation.

He said the challenges of restiveness and poor development of the country’s oil belt of the Niger Delta can be solved through the PIB if the government will sincerely work towards opening up investment opportunities in the oil and gas value chain close to the sources.

“The solution to the crises and development challenges in the Niger Delta is to work towards the emergence of energy-intensive industries close to the energy sources. This will trigger rapid industrial and commercial development and also engender other industrial clusters in other parts of the country,” Ilebare added.

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